Tips For Newlyweds
By Roger Sorensen
What a wonderful day, despite the impatience
and in-law worries, your wedding went off without
a hitch and the honeymoon time was incredible.
You and your newly wed spouse are back in your
shared home, the gifts are opened and put away,
bills are looming and it's back to work tomorrow.
So what do you do to merge two single finances
into one married package?
Arguing with a spouse about money is one of the
top three things to worry Americans the most when
it comes to personal finances, so says a survey
by NFO Research. Another survey brings out that
nearly 70% of all recently divorced couples blame
arguments starting over money as the largest single
contributing factor to their divorce.
With a statistic like that hanging over their
head, it is no wonder many newlyweds are nervous
to talk about finances. Merging their individual
finances into a single unit is critical for long-term
success of their marriage. What are newlywed,
or nearly wed, couples to do?
1. Know where you are going. As
soon as you set a date to start your life together,
begin sharing intimate details about each others
financial life. If you find both of you hate financial
planning you can decide who will do what now.
It will not be any easier now than it would after
your marriage, but there is less pressure to "just
do it" and get it over with.
2. Share the news with the Government.
Visit the Social Security website at www.ssa.gov
for information on replacing your old Social Security
card if you are changing your name. Also don't
forget the Department of Motor Vehicles to change
your driver's license. If you have other dealings
with state or federal agencies, you will want
to change their information about you as soon
as possible to avoid any problems later.
3. Hang onto your marriage certificate.
Before you put this little piece of paper away
somewhere you "won't forget it", keep
it handy the first year to show as proof of your
nuptials. Financial representatives can not accept
a picture of you cutting cake at the reception,
and some airline frequent flier miles programs
won't update your information unless you have
a legal document as proof.
4. Consolidate to save money and arguments.
The two of you are married now, act like it financially.
You do not need separate checking accounts for
separate paychecks to pay for merged bills. By
having one checking account you may save on bank
fees. To overcome the risk of checks not being
recorded, use checks with the duplicate feature
and put both of you on a cash allowance. This
will help prevent over-use of the check book and
arguments about where the money went.
5. Make a financial date night.
Choose a night early in the month after all the
bills have arrived and spend some time paying
the bills together. One writes out the check,
the other records the payment and stuffs the envelope.
Use this time to discuss finances, goals and clear
the air about concerns you may have. These date
nights may lead to deep discussions about personal
goals, household responsibilities, or even career
plans, so listening is critical.
6. Re-evaluate your insurance coverage.
Changing your marital status may lower your auto
insurance premiums. Employer provided health plans
may be consolidated under a family plan, or is
it more advantages to maintain individual plans?
Do some looking around and get quotes on your
health and auto insurance needs from multiple
7. Other insurance considerations.
Now that you have a family, do you need more life
insurance? Nobody likes to think about it, but
disability income and life insurance policies
can greatly reduce worry and stress on a family
in the event an accident or premature death occurs.
The advantage to buying life insurance while you
are young is the lower cost. Buying 20-year level
term insurance can be a more inexpensive method
of buying protection during the time your children
are still living at home.
8. Will you, or will you not?
If you die without a will, the passing of your
assets to your heirs is determined by a judge
who determines how much of your assets go to your
children, your wife, your father, your uncle,
and every other relative who thinks they have
a claim to your estate. A quick trip to a lawyer
for a small fee, or an hour with a good computer
program should put your mind at ease that your
family will be taken care of the way you want.
Planning on estate division can raise difficult
issues, but this is a vitally important thing
to do for your loved ones.
9. Promises, promises. You promised
love at your marriage ceremony, no make some further
promises. Promise to consult each other before
making major purchases, setting a price as to
determine when discussion needs to occur before
the purchase. It doesn't matter if the sports
car you have always dreamed about is being sold
right now, if you cannot talk to your spouse about
it, don't buy it.
10. Respect each other. It is
normal for you to not always agree with your spouse
about money. This doesn't mean someone has to
be wrong and have their resistance worn down.
Listen to their opinion and respect their right
to have it. You never know, their idea may be
better for your family.
America's Financial Guide can be found at http://www.Slave2Work.com
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